News

Protecting family budgets

Published: 09 Feb 2020 00:01

Putting wellbeing at the centre of Budget.

Protecting family budgets is a priority for the Scottish Government’s spending plans for the year ahead.

Public Finance Minister Kate Forbes set out a range of measures in the Scottish Budget to help support family incomes including:

  • giving a 3% pay uplift for public sector workers earning up to £80,000
  • investing £645 million for the expansion of early learning and childcare to provide 1,140 hours of childcare a year, saving a family as much as £4,500 per child
  • investing an additional £16 million in concessionary travel and bus services
  • £21 million for the initial rollout of the Scottish Child Payment
  • maintaining the widest range of free‑to‑access public services in the UK including free personal care, free prescriptions and free tuition
  • increasing the basic and intermediate rate thresholds of income tax by inflation and freezing the higher and top rate thresholds, meaning no taxpayer in Scotland will pay more income tax in 2020-21 on their current income

Ms Forbes said:

“Wellbeing and fairness are at the heart of this year’s Budget. An important part of that is protecting incomes, tackling inequalities and providing high-quality public services.

“Our spending plans will also support low-income households which are being hit the hardest by the UK Government’s benefit cuts. Based on previous estimates, we expect to spend at least £1.4 billion to mitigate the worst effects of these cuts and tackle child poverty head on. Our Scottish Child Payment will also help lift 30,000 children out of poverty when it is fully rolled out in 2022.

“Our tax policies are the fairest and most progressive in the UK, with more than half of taxpayers paying less income tax in Scotland than if they lived elsewhere in the UK.

“We are also supporting first-time buyers with our residential land and building transaction tax (LBTT) policies meaning almost half of residential property transactions pay no LBTT at all.

“Under this fair and progressive tax approach we are able to raise additional revenue to invest in the delivery of first-class public services and policies including free school meals, our Pupil Equity Fund, delivering affordable homes and energy efficient measures.

“We are prioritising actions that have the greatest impact on improving lives across Scotland now, and creating the conditions that are required to ensure wellbeing for future generations.

“I hope Parliament recognises the importance of protecting family budgets in uncertain times and will work constructively with us to pass this Budget in the national interest.”

Background

Full details of the Scottish Budget 2020-21